Learn About Broccolini

Author: Chef Sydney

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What is Broccolini?

Broccolini, also called baby broccoli, is a vegetable originally developed in Japan.  Broccolini is a hybrid vegetable, grown by naturally breeding broccoli with Chinese broccoli.  The broccolini vegetable now grows in Japan, Mexico, parts of Arizona, and California.  Broccolini looks like a cross between broccoli and asparagus.  They may also have small leaves on the stalks.  The stalks are firm and crunchy when raw and soften when cooked.

What Does Broccolini Taste Like?

Broccolini tastes similar to broccoli, but it has a much more mild taste.  When raw, broccolini tastes lightly sweet. When cooked, broccolini turns sweeter and tastes similar to asparagus.

Learn About Broccolini

A metal bowl full of broccolini.

How Do You Eat Broccolini?

Broccolini can be eaten raw or cooked, though most people enjoy it cooked as a side dish.  The whole vegetable is edible.  Common cooking methods for broccolini include steaming, stir-frying, roasting, and sauteing.  Steamed broccolini is usually served on its own.  Stir-fried broccolini is cooked with other vegetables in the same pan.  Foods commonly used to enhance the flavor of roasted broccolini include parmesan cheese or lemon.  Garlic often cooks with and completes sauteed broccolini.

Where Can You Buy Broccolini?

Look for broccolini in the chilled produce section of large, well-stocked grocery stores.  Some grocery stores may carry frozen broccolini, which you can find in the frozen section.

How Do You Store Broccolini?

Store fresh broccolini in an unsealed plastic bag and place it in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

Fun Facts About Broccolini

Broccolini is in the same plant family as brussel sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, and kale.

Did You Know?

Broccolini exists because of science! In the 1990s, researchers began breeding broccoli plants with Chinese broccoli plants. It took researchers between 7 to 8 years to breed broccolini as we know it.

Recipes Using Broccolini

Sauteed Broccolini

Cook broccolini in a matter of minutes by sauteing them. Start by heating olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add broccolini and cook for about 6 minutes. Then, add salt, pepper, minced garlic, water, and red pepper flakes. Cook for about another minute and remove from heat.

Broccolini Salad

Make a tasty salad with partially cooked broccolini. Start by boiling water in a large saucepan. Then, add the broccolini and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove the broccolini from the saucepan and immediately dip into a bowl of ice water to blanch them. Then, combine broccolini, sliced almonds, dried cherries, sliced red onion, shaved parmesan, and lemon juice.

Broccolini and Cheddar

Create a twist on a classic pair by using broccolini instead of broccoli. Blanch the broccolini in a saucepan and transfer to an ice bath. In a different saucepan, combine milk, corn starch, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Cook for about 6 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Then, melt cheddar cheese into the mixture. Pour the cheese over the broccolini and serve.

Balsamic Broccolini

Mix together a tangy vinaigrette to dress your broccolini. Start by cooking broccolini in a stockpot of boiling water for about 2 minutes. In a bowl, mix together balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and minced garlic. Top broccolini with the balsamic vinaigrette and serve.

Roasted Broccolini

Roast broccolini in the oven for an easy, tasty side dish. Toss broccolini in olive oil, soy sauce, and sea salt. Spread broccolini in an even layer on a baking sheet about bake for about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven when the broccolini is tender and drizzle fresh lemon juice over the top before serving.

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